Allyn McKeen

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Allyn McKeen
Allyn McKeen.jpg
Biographical details
Born(1905-01-26)January 26, 1905
Fulton, Kentucky
DiedSeptember 13, 1978(1978-09-13) (aged 73)
Montgomery, Alabama
Playing career
Position(s)Guard, end
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1937–1938West Tennessee State
1939–1948Mississippi State
Head coaching record
Accomplishments and honors
1 SIAA (1938)
1 SEC (1941)
SEC Coach of the Year (1940)
College Football Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1991 (profile)

Allyn McKeen (January 26, 1905 – September 13, 1978) was an American football player and coach. He served as the head coach at West Tennessee State Normal School, now the University of Memphis, from 1937 to 1938 and at Mississippi State College, now Mississippi State University, from 1939 to 1948, compiling a career college football record of 78–25–3. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1991.

Playing career[edit]

McKeen played football as a guard and end at the University of Tennessee from 1925 to 1927, where he earned all-state honors. He was also the captain of the men's basketball and track teams. He helped preserve the tie with Vanderbilt by covering Bill Spears's receivers.[1]

Coaching career[edit]

From 1937 to 1938, McKeen coached at West Tennessee State Teachers College, now known as the University of Memphis, where he compiled a 13–6 record. His 1938 team went undefeated at 10–0. From 1939 to 1948, he coached at Mississippi State, where he compiled a 65–19–3 record. In 1940, he was named the SEC Coach of the Year after leading Mississippi State to its only undefeated season in school history. The following year, his squad captured the first and only Southeastern Conference championship in program history. He retired from coaching in 1948 after being fired by Mississippi State's athletic director, Dudy Noble.[2] His .747 coaching record at Mississippi State rivals some of the winningest coaches in the SEC, such as Bear Bryant, Bob Neyland, Johnny Vaught, and Vince Dooley. However, McKeen only coached in Starkville for nine years, while the other leaders on the SEC's wins list coached for more than 15 years.[3]

At the time of his departure from Starkville, McKeen was the winningest coach in Mississippi State history, a rank he would keep until Jackie Sherrill passed him during the 2000 season. McKeen is now third on the school's all-time wins list, behind Sherrill and Dan Mullen.

Late life and honors[edit]

After retiring from coaching, McKeen served as the director of the Blue–Gray Football Classic. He was inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 1977.

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs AP#
West Tennessee State Tigers (Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1937–1938)
1937 West Tennessee State 3–6
1938 West Tennessee State 10–0 7–0 1st
Memphis: 13–6
Mississippi State Maroons (Southeastern Conference) (1939–1948)
1939 Mississippi State 8–2 3–2 4th
1940 Mississippi State 10–0–1 4–0–1 2nd W Orange 9
1941 Mississippi State 8–1–1 4–0–1 1st 16
1942 Mississippi State 8–2 5–2 4th 18
1943 No team—World War II
1944 Mississippi State 6–2 3–2 5th
1945 Mississippi State 6–3 2–3 T–7th
1946 Mississippi State 8–2 3–2 5th
1947 Mississippi State 7–3 2–2 4th
1948 Mississippi State 4–4–1 3–3 7th
Mississippi State: 65–19–3 29–16–2
Total: 78–25–3
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth


  1. ^ "Backfielders In South Get Real Mention". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. November 15, 1927.
  2. ^ Nemeth, Mike (2009). Mississippi State Football Vault (College Vault). Whitman Publishing. ISBN 9780794828073.
  3. ^

External links[edit]